3 Detroit police officers charged in separate assaults on citizens

DETROIT - Three Detroit police officers are charged in connection with assaults on citizens in separate incidents, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday.

Officers are accused of beating citizens in the parking lot of a Meijer, at a gas station and at the end of a foot chase.

She also announced charges against a former Michigan State Police trooper in connection with the death of a teen shot with a Taser while driving an ATV. 

In each case, according to the prosecutor's office, arrangements were made for the officers to turn themselves in for arraignment.

Worthy declined to seek criminal charges in connection with the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Raynard Burton by a police officer in Detroit earlier this year. 

Worthy said her office won’t shy away from tough decisions and tough cases.

“We will never turn away or run away from a tough case even if it involves law enforcement,” she said.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the charges don't reflect the work being done by the majority of police officers.

“Anytime an officer violates the oath of office, public trust, it is a stain on all of us," he said, "but we should remember it does not reflect the vast majority of the men and women who do this work.”

Warrant declined in fatal shooting case

According to a news release, Detroit police officers Jerold Blanding and Michael Davis were on patrol Feb. 13 when they saw a Pontiac Bonneville speeding. The officers pursued the car, which crashed near a business at the corner of Broadstreet and Elmhurst.

Burton ran from the car. Prosecutors said Davis was on foot, saw Blanding drive past in the patrol car and ran south after hearing Blanding say over the radio that was the direction Burton was headed. 

Davis then heard a gunshot and found Blanding and Burton behind a vacant house on Webb. Prosecutors said the investigation found that one shot was fired by Blanding

Prosecutors said a resident on Otsego told authorities he heard an officer yell: "Get down, get down!" and saw an officer outside looking for his partner. 

According to the news release, Davis "was informed by Officer Blanding that he and Burton wrestled and that Burton tried to grab for his gun as he was trying to holster it and that Blanding discharged one shot," according to the news release. Blanding told Davis that Burton ran because he didn't want to go to jail.

Prosecutors said Burton was identified as a carjacking suspect.

"Based on the facts and evidence in the case, there is insufficient evidence to charge a crime and the warrant request is denied," the news release says.

Officer charged in Meijer assault

Detroit Police Officer Lonnie Wade, 65, was charged in the assault of 23-year-old David Bivins at Meijer on Oct. 10. Wade, who was in police uniform while moonlighting as a security officer, struck Bivins with a baton.

Wade is facing charges of felonious assault, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and two counts of misconduct in office.

According to the prosecutor's office Bivins was in the vestibule of the store on 8 Mile when Wade approached, asking to see his receipt for the items in his shopping cart. Bivins said the receipt was with his girlfriend, who, upset by the encounter, went back into the store to return the items, prosecutors said.

Wade and Bivins got into an argument and Bivins got his cell phone out.

"Then Wade came over to him and grabbed his wrist, telling him he was under arrest," prosecutors said. "Bivins pulled away to resist Wade's attempts to place him under arrest."

Wade hit Bivins with a baton, striking him in his head and face.

Video of the incident surfaced. In it, prosecutors said: "Bivins does not show any aggressive behavior in the video, even when he is struck by the baton."

Officer charged in assault at gas station

Also charged was Detroit Police Officer Richard Billingslea, who prosecutors said assaulted two men at a Mobil gas station in May.

According to a news release, the incident happened after Billingslea and his partner stopped at the station — located in the 17000 block of Harper — on May 31 at about 1:40 a.m. Billingslea got into an argument with 39-year-old Michaele Jackson and 26-year-old D'Marco Craft.

"The argument escalated into an assault during which Jackson was pepper sprayed and beaten," prosecutors said, adding that Craft used his cell phone to record video of the exchange. Billingslea is accused of throwing Craft's cell phone in a trash can.

Billingslea has been charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and assault and battery, according to the news release.

Former officer charged with assaulting citizen, then telling him to lie

Former Detroit Police Officer Edward Hicks is charged with assaulting 31-year-old Deonta Stewart, then telling him to lie about his injuries.

According to the prosecutor's office, Hicks and his partner approached Stewart on Aug. 30, 2016 in the area of Chene and Lafayette and Hicks yelled for him to stop. Stewart ran, stopped when he realized police were chasing him and then Hicks punched him in the face multiple times.

The news release says Hicks told Steward, who was transported to the Detroit Detention Center, to "give a false statement to the intake officer about his arrest and injuries."

Hicks is facing charges of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

This story originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press. 

© 2018 WZZM-TV


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